Source: Tuning up a cheap spokeshave (in case you know already that you want the longer more detailed version)
As many of you know, I prefer OLD tools. I rarely buy new and I am a firm believer in “you get what you pay for.” None of that has changed. ;)
I have kept my eyes open for a round bottom spokeshave for over a year. Preferably a Stanley 151R, that’s the one with the gull-wing handles and the two adjuster nuts. I run across the flat soled versions quite regularly (the 151M) but I rarely see the round bottom version. Lots of times the ones on eBay are impossible to tell which is which because of bad photos and bad descriptions. For the most part I am in no big rush, so I will wait it out…. but there are a couple things I want to build where having one would be helpful. My intention is to still find an OLD Stanley, but in the mean time, I picked up a $5 imitation at HF under the “Central Forge” brand name (the one and only time I have been in HF… yes I still feel dirty from the experience).
For $5 I got a round bottom spokeshave that is a knock-off of the Stanley 151R. That $5 got me a spokeshave that was absolutely un-useable in its current condition, and I am not saying that just because the blade was dull. It had more serious problems than that.
What was wrong with it?
1) Poorly placed adjustment slots made the adjuster nuts un-moveable
2) Non-flat bed for seating the blade
3) Blunt cap iron allowed no wood to pass through the mouth
4) Dull blade – rough machining
Tools needed for the mod:
a) bench grinder
c) sharpening system (I used sandpaper on glass)
However, with less than 90 minutes put into modifications, I had it up and running as a very usable spokeshave. Here it is making some curves in black cherry. No chatter, smooth finish left behind.
I believe I got what I paid for, I got $5 worth of raw materials. With a bit of sweat equity invested I ended up with a decent spokeshave for someone that does not use a round bottom spokeshave that often. I believe HF flat bottom spokeshave would have the exact same issues, and they would be solved in exactly the same way.
-- Galootish log blog, http://www.timberframe-tools.com